P.O. Box 150, Kure Beach, North Carolina 28449
Phone (910) 458-5524



 

A Brief History of Kure Beach Pier

Old Post Card of Kure Beach Fishing Pier

Kure Beach Pier is the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast. My grandfather L.C. Kure first built the pier in 1923. His father Hans A. Kure had bought the property the Town of Kure Beach presently encompasses around the turn of the century.

1953...From the family photo album

1953...From the family photo album

His dream, with his son's help, was to build an entertainment complex for the citizens of Wilmington to visit. Although many ideas were tried, for example, pavilion, bars,  bathhouse and cottages, the pier was the last idea to be built and the only to remain.

The first pier was 120 feet long and 22 feet wide. Pine poles were cut from the forest along the river and used as pilings. Very little was known about sea worms or other marine borers, and as a result, the first pier was destroyed or fell down the first year.

1940...From   the family photo album

1940...From the family photo album

The pier was then rebuilt in 1924. This time it was built 240 feet long and 32 feet wide. Cement pilings were used that were built by L. C. Kure. He developed a new method of pouring concrete, which is today known as reinforced concrete. The forms were built in the parking lot in front of the pier and the pilings were poured on site. They were then carried out on the pier by a system of rail cars and practically everything was done by hand. However, these pilings lasted and some of them were still in use in 1954 when Hurricane Hazel washed the pier away.

Old Postcard from the 1950's era.

Old Postcard from the 1950's era.

My father , Bill Robertson, bought the pier from my grandfather in 1952. My father hailed from Bixby, a crossroads in Davie County, west of Winston-Salem. He had a long background in retail sales and advertising and was able to write copy and later stories for newspapers and magazines. While promoting Kure Pier he was also encouraging visitors into buying real estate in the town. His idea was if they bought they would have to rent the cottages out to help pay for them. Ensuring potential customers on the beach all summer long, the idea seems to have worked.

Old Postcard from the early 1960's era.

Old Postcard from the early 1960's era.

My father made several changes on the pier during his 32-year rein. Most of the changes occurred in the tackle shop area. In 1954, after Hazel, he moved the tackle shop across the street; where Ocean View Restaurant is today. And built a slightly larger tackle shop which remained until 1962 when he moved it to 6th and J Avenue to become a warehouse. He then built a much larger tackle shop with a bingo room inside and a small area for souvenirs. On the south end of the tackle shop was a larger open-air dance floor. In a couple of years the dance area was enclosed to put the bingo room in, because of noise problems and the souvenir section was enlarged. In 1972 he added showers, stockrooms, office and a patio on the East Side of the existing building. This configuration stayed until 1993.

Hurricanes have always played a large role in the goings on at Kure Pier. Little is known of specific damages during my grandfather's day, but the story is 6 damages with the hurricane of 1944 being the worst. My father's encounters with them are 6 damages, 2 in 1954, 2 in 1955, 1 in 1958 and another in 1960. Hurricane Hazel being his worst event, losing the entire pier on October 15, 1954 and almost the tackle shop. From 1962 until 1984 there were no storm damages, only normal maintenance.

Family Photos of Hurrricane Hazel damage in 1954

Family Photos of Hurrricane Hazel damage in 1954

A 1950's Souvenir showing Kure Pier 
during the 1954 Hurricane Hazel

A 1950's Souvenir showing Kure Pier
during the 1954 Hurricane Hazel

In September 1984 Hurricane Diana took about half the length of the pier. This is when I, Mike Robertson, bought the pier from my father. I built back that winter to the same length of 711 feet from the high tide line. On the end of the pier I built a "T " to help create more room for king fishing, which was becoming very popular, and I also included a 200 gallon live bait tank for the king fishermen to use. Hurricane Hugo also caused me some minor damage in 1989.




In 1996 Kure Pier was hit by 2 hurricanes, in July by Bertha which took the entire pier down and by Fran in September which caused some damage to the tackle shop. In rebuilding the pier I decided to try to reinforce area's in the construction phase that previously were not, and raising the pier's elevation to 26 feet above sea level and going back to a 3 piling pier. These ideas were tested in 1998 with Hurricane Bonnie in which the pier came through a small class 3 storm rather well.

Kure Pier after Hurricane Bertha in July, 1996

Kure Pier after Hurricane Bertha in July, 1996

Restoration is under way and completed May of '97

Restoration is under way and completed May of '97

Mike the owner hanging beneath the pier during the restoration

Mike the owner hanging beneath the pier during the restoration

Hurricane's are what we that live and work at the beach get the most stress and press about, but 364 days a year this is the best place in the country to live, raise kids, and enjoy God's second biggest pond. When you come to visit Kure Beach Pier, you can be assured that every one here is trying to make your visit a safe, enjoyable and affordable visit.

Come See Us,
Mike

 
     
 
     
Site Designed, Hosted and Maintained by FryingPanTower.Com
Copyright 2009 FryingPanTower Associates All Rights Reserved XXX